Clay Porter Interview


It is 12:13am and I am high as a fucking fire escape right now with filmmaker Clay Porter – So you um recently accomplished um- ehhh [Uncontrollable Laughter]
[Clay is laughing hysterically in the corner of the room.]

Yo- So that ‘video game’ movie was tight that you showed me – wassup with that?
The what movie?

The video game movie that we watched last night…
Oh! [Goes into hysterics and uncontrollable laughter]

Hey – I at least remember that it is by a man named Tony Silver or some shit.
[Coming out of hysterics…,] The ‘fucking video game movie’! Dude that was the Donkey Kong movie. Yeah that movie is sick.

So what attracts you to documentary film making – we just finished watching a movie I was hella stoked to show you and you completely shat all over it? Acting like a complete hater - I thought you liked this kind of shit?
[CANNOT stop laughing]

You were hating on my muthafuckin’ movie! Why did you hate on my shit?
[Laughing so hard he falls off of the couch and is just going nuts – I become concerned about if he is suffocating himself] THIS IS THE RADDEST INTERVIEW EVER! ‘You hatin’ on my shit!’-HAHAHA! [Goes back into hysterics]

What was so wrong with it? – It isn’t like I am gonna publish the name of the Documentary or the dude’s name in this interview. The entire time we were watching it you were looking through the case of the fuckin’ Lakai Video…
I was just so amped to see the Lakai video. I just had my mind on the Lakai video.

So I basically wake up in the morning and do my routine and then watch a few sections of that video for the last year-
Oh no it has only been out since November.

You want to talk about that movie and give us some of your perspectives?
What, on Fully Flared?

Um…Should I get serious now?

Sure if you want. You can speak Chinese if you want – I don’t give a fuck.
No fuck that. I want to talk the way that I talk.

Well I would expect you to.
Ok the Lakai video. Well- I would have to say that Ty Evans is kinda my favorite ‘action sports’- Fuck!- I hate the words ‘action sport’ – he is one of my favorite filmmakers that whatever – films skateboards and snowboards and all of that shit. [Ty Evans] edits to the beat really well. His stuff is just good – it is like polished – He doesn’t cut corners anywhere – high production value, I read like in this interview that he is really good at motivating skaters to skate their best – he just doesn’t cut corners and I think that is why his films are so good - a lot of time and detail in them.

You have a fuckin’ shoe-lace for a belt and you are making all of this bread? Oh- hold up - those are those ones that I saw come like that by- oh who is that? Oh now it all makes sense.
Yeeeeeeeah – these are the Matix ones!

[Insert Yoda Voice] So one of the top filmers you are – and you dress as if you were child of lacking home – yes? Pre-fucked up jeans you are wearing? Those rips came provided with purchase – yes!
[Uncontrollable laughter]

Alright so moving along-
You are just ripping on me the entire interview – Fuck this shit man.

bombindust_thumb.jpgNah for real now – tell all of those that don’t know what is up with F1RST? It is baws! I think we even need Rick Ross to sit down and watch it just so he can verify that.
[Cannot stop laughing…]

\[I point to the screen with F1RST playing on it] Aye!? Is that a DGK sticker on that helmet? That is a skate company – is Stevie [Williams] getting’ paid for that?
No no no – that is OGK [breaks into laughter]. What you think they are like Greg[Minnaar] – who is your helmet sponsor and he is like Stevie Williams!

Speaking of getting paid and C.R.E.A.M. popping up on the iPod – I am about to get straight Suge Night on that ass about my spread in Decline [Magazine] – where’s the check let alone a copy of that shit?
Dude you are just getting me back for the way I asked for some tea the other night – “Where’s that muthafuckin’ tea?!”

So going back to Spike Jones and Ty Evans – how much of an influence does their work have on you?
Wait – what was the question?

Oh Jesus man… I said Ty Evans and Spike Jones have an influence on you – care to elaborate? Nah skip that – You have some serious ‘baws’ shots.
How have I what?

Basically how have you attained ‘baws’ status in the mountain bike industry?
What has motivated me to be ‘baws’? [Laughter]

You know?- on getting these ‘baws’ shots…
[Laughs so hard he falls off of the couch] …”To get these baws shots”!

[Still laughing] So as far as all of the ‘baws’ shots with the zip-line through the trees following riders – how much of that is influenced by Ty Evans’ work?
Ty Evans has no influence on the zip-line stuff – cause he didn’t do that stuff himself. It is more this other group called The Collective – they are from Canada and they make these really well filmed mountain bike films – just a lot of cable-cams and dolly shots and jib-arms and stuff. They don’t shoot racing – so they are kinda not really my competitors or anything but- they were kinda the first to popularize cable-cam and zip-line – they[The Collective] were definitely a huge influence on that.

So knowing you since childhood – did my teaching you of stop and go animation with the StarWars figures have any influence on your latest project

Wow that is a real kick in the balls.
[Laughs until distracted by the iPod playing Ice Cube] you better check yo self before you wreck yo self cause I’m bad for your health…hahaha! Droppin’ bombs on yo moms – fuck car alarms [can’t continue due to laughter]

[Long silence til I turn around from the screen to see…] Are you fuckin’ serious?! We are in the middle of an interview and you are on your fucking Blackberry?! What is so important Mr. Porter at 12:25am in the morning/night? Please do share…
It is uh- an email back from my manager.

-An email regarding what?
I sent an email today: “Hey Martin, I am writing my advertising proposal for”-

Man I don’t need to know the whole muthafuckin’ email – I’m not going to transcribe that shit.
Well you asked!

Well what is the deal? Are we making money or what?
Of course we are making muthafuckin’ money.

Ok we have some breaking news people…
Rachel Atherton is qualifying in Andora– her time was three minutes guess what the second place/last year world champion’s time was?

What like three or three and a half minutes – I don’t know?
3:14! She beat her by 14 fuckin’ seconds on a three-minute track! That is so gnarly dude. Fuck me that chick can ride a bike!

So how have you attained ‘baws’ status?
How have I attained ‘baws’ status? – Because I work my ass off – I have a passion for it – I enjoy doing it. That is a pretty witted ‘baws’ combination – you know what I am saying. [Starts getting sucked into his own movie F1RST which is playing on the screen during the interview…] Dude Fader – who is that on the screen right now?

I don’t know?
That’s the best dude – that’s Sam Hill – remember? - You met him at the premiere?

Yeah I know – He’s a cool dude. So now you are on a break from the circuit and the film dropped recently – how has it been received so far?
It has been received really well. It is only right now that all of the reviews are starting to come in cause it just came out like a month ago – and they are always late with that shit. But really good – it has been received really good.

bombing_thumb.jpgWhat have you brought to the world of Mountain Bike Films that was lacking before you walked into the door? What were some of the things that you wanted to do differently that what was being offered at the time?
I just saw that nobody told the story of what was going on. Everybody was making these films that had no story whatsoever. There was a lot of riding and a lot of action but no story and I just wanted to tell a story and show action. I had always wanted to do that and didn’t really have the resources to do so until probably my second to last film [Between The Tape].

So you saying that the [Shaun] Palmer section in ‘ChainSmoke’ is not hard enough for you or something?
Nah! [Starts singing Downset’s ‘Empower’]

What did that section mean to you back when we used to watch that every time we went out/came back to ride and right now as a filmmaker of the same genre?
Dude – that was God riding his bike. [Shaun] Palmer is the fuckin’ man – that is the guy that got me into this sport.

What is so special about Napalm [Shaun Palmer’s moniker]?
Oh damn – Fader remembers his nickname!

What you really think that I smoke that much?! Nah but really what is it that is so special? Is anyone in the sport now currently filling his shoes?
What?- Oh – I still really want to film a section with him – even though that he doesn’t ride. My friend Mike Redding over at Troy Lee Designs might link me up with him. But you gotta understand that the guy is so busy – he might go to the Olympics for snowboarding. He’s getting’ up there you know?

If Napalm hopped onto a fixed gear what do you think would happen?
I think that he would be one of the best fixed-gear riders in the world. I mean he has natural fuckin’ sports talent! That shit – you know – transcends sports – the skill. His skill really does that – so if he stepped onto a fixed gear he would just kill it. He would do really well. Especially because bikes are one of he sports that he has done before. Once he can ride a downhill bike he can ride a road bike. [Pointing to the stereo] Who is this music? – this is some ghetto shit…

This is [Young] Jeezy – you were just singing his other shit while we were watching the Lakai interview? I am trying to put you on this is from ‘Thug Motivation: 101’.
The only Jeezy song that I know is ‘I Luv It’.

Looks like I need to make you a playlist – we going to see some Young Jeezy in your future projects?
Music really helps to tell a story – like this [what is playing] if it is very opera or orchestraic – then that symbolizes some tension or stressful part of the story. Where if you used hella mellow music it stresses that it is relaxed. If you use country – it probably stresses that your film is probably shot in the south of the U.S. – you know? Music gives the viewers clues as to where they are in the story.

Now you did go to formal technical school for this – what did they or didn’t they teach you?
I just fuckin’ learned it myself – they didn’t tell you that music helps you tell a story – I didn’t learn any of that shit in film school. I went there for a year and a half and then I stopped going.

So to put it long story short – you are too ‘baws’ for film school?
Yeah pretty much.

Just so we don’t have people dropping out and/or fueling financial frustrations – what did you get from film school/formal education?
A general sense on how to make a film. See I thought going to film school that they would cover how to use a dolly or a jib-arm and all of that stuff – which they did slightly – I just thought that the classes would focus on that stuff. Going into film school I though that I would have projects like ‘who can make the best dolly shot?’ – But they don’t teach it like that. They just teach story – even if it is over-exposed or out-of focus it will still get a good grade.

You just said that they don’t teach story telling and that you learned that on your own?!
I meant things like music – they don’t teach those specifics. I didn’t say anything wrong – I didn’t fuck up. - That is such a fuckin’ sick shot right there!! Luke (Strobel) from Seattle – ‘BAWS’ SHOT!

Damn! Don’t choke on your own cock! – But yes it is a good shot.
There’s Peatey! You remember him right?

Of course I remember Steve Peat. Now you haven’t worked with Napalm but Steve Peat seems like the next in line you would want to work with – how has that been over the past few films?
That shit just completely blows my mind. Dude!- think about how much we were into bike back in the day and we were obsessed with them – then imagine five years later I would have met Steve Peat, been to his house, and filmed him for my own movies – we would have never guessed that then.

And who would have though that I would be up in L.A. Metro in an over packed 24 man cell with people sleeping on the floor and picking crack out of shit!?
What is that siren right now?

That would be a Cypress Hill track – come on man – I thought you were up on your hip-hop?
Oh yeah – I am fuckin’ out of it as fuck. Damn! That is a ‘baws’ shot [pointing at the screen].

nightair_thumb.jpgNow that you keep putting your cock in your mouth you want to elaborate on these ‘baws’ shots? How do you pick them?
Just what looks good. Just what is going to be the most exciting stuff on the track. High-risk, big-jumps, FAST. A slow pedaling section will not be filmed compared to a fast section.

So you scope a course out thouroughly?
Yeah big time – when I walk a course it is to find angles.

So you walk the courses just like the competitors you are filming?
Yeah before I film – It is weird like when I was filming last weekend with Matti (Lehikoinen) up in Finland. Wait what were we talking about?

Finding ‘baws’ angles…
Oh yeah – so I was filming this really technical shot – slow motion with the dirt flying over the camera. It takes like ten minutes just to set up and I fucked it up just a tiny bit – a tiny bit – like I can still use the shot but it gets a little shaky in this one spot – and I got so pissed off cause it was like the exact same feeling that a downhill racer would feel if they slipped a pedal or fucked up slightly in a race run – you know cause when it is recording that is like my race run.

So while we are choking on the cock you want to talk about the race you just recently won?
YEAH! I got a ‘BAWS’ ass result at this race – first muthafuckin’ place. Racing sport slalom on a borrowed bike – I slayed them.

How much have the old days when I would see you everyday to ride or watch flicks - (unlike now where it is one day out of the year) – been an influence on where you have established yourself today. From the riding to the Presidio of San Francisco and all of the trails built back in the day in it?
Oh this is a good question. The Presidio – fuckin’ killed it. I was pretty fortunate to grow up in San Francisco – which is pretty much the ‘bawssest’ city on earth – so that was pretty sick. I was raised in the city but two blocks away was the Presidio National Park. I got the experience of growing up in the city but still having this many acres – I don’t know how many exactly but it is pretty big – of just wilderness. It was like I grew up in an urban environment but in the same reason it was – what is the opposite of urban?

Rural. So you want to state that you were the first to bring all of this technical shit to mountain bike films?
Well I am the first of the race-filmmakers to do it. A lot of the like freeride filmmakers would do it – like the films that don’t follow races adapted that cause it is so much easier to do it there. I am the first race-filmmaker doing advance cinematography. Yeah – I have raised the bar – [Laughs] I am just kidding.

So the fixed-gear film MASH was pretty sick huh? Speak your mind – it isn’t like Morford is really going to look at this interview – the guy won’t even send an email…
I don’t know I think it could have been filmed better but it was something that had never been done before. But it is not like I am going to get inspired to do anything from MASH.

So what kind of hating do you encounter if any at all?
You want to know who the fuckin’ haters are – are the people that accuse me of speeding up my footage. That is a fuckin’ hater dude! But I don’t really give a shit what they think cause it is not sped up. Fuck you if you think that it is sped up. I don’t say that on your fuckin’ race run they sped up the clock do I? I mean I don’t accuse them of that shit so don’t accuse me of speeding up my movie. Sight and time – you are not going to speed up sight just like you don’t speed up time.

So why all of this ‘Race shit’ – why not any jumping off of cliff type of stuff?
Cause racing is where the story is man. I mean there is not points chase – there is not competition in jumping off of a cliff. In a story there are all of these people competing against each other. It is the root – downhill racing is exciting and it is an exciting story.

You have to admit though that ‘Plush’ was the shit…
Yeah ‘Plush’ was tight.

What is that piece of white trashes name in it?
Matt Berringer-?

Nah man! Berringer is the man! That other dude – mechanic now….Randy?
Randy Lawrence?

You having to travel to several countries – hence ‘World-Cup’ racing. What is the cuttiest country you traveled to?
Slovakia, Slovenia is kinda cutty – Brazil was cutty as fuck when we had to go up to this one part. Other than that they were all pretty nice areas. Not to say the cutty places weren’t nice – they were amazing.

lightup_thumb.jpgSo in the ‘Atherton Family Section’ of your film F1RST – you incorporated the idea of lighting up a downhill course. Are you the first to do this?
Lighting something up at night – oh fuck yeah. That was like the tightest ten days of my life.

How did the idea pop into your head?
There was a shot or two filmed at night from this Snowboard film that I saw. But it wasn’t a shot that isn’t in skate videos with a floodlight on a rail – I was like “what if I light up an entire downhill course”.

What was up with the shrine to Shaun Napalm Palmer back in the day?
Palmer shrine!?

Don’t lie – I got witnesses…
It was like a couple of – IT WASN’T A SHRINE! It wasn’t like I was praying to Sean Palmer – I just - It was like a couple of sick action photos of him up on my wall.

So you don’t remember wanting to get ‘NAPALM’ embroidered on the back of your Fox Racing pants?

I beg to differ.
Well Sean Palmer is the man! He is the ‘Bawsest’ dude ever.

commonwealth_thumb.jpgWhoa! That dude is definitely English. (a Steve Peat interview is on screen)
How could you tell?!

Just look at those fuckin’ teeth!
Dude my boy Griz is gonna love this shit! They rag on British people so hard. Man I am fuckin’ starving is there a Burger King around here or something?

Man that shit will kill me.
Well is there a burrito spot open or something?

Yeah there is but it is a little dirty.
Is is good? Burritos are so fuckin good dude! No one except for the west coast of the US has burritos. No one in Europe, Australia or New Zealand has burritos. I take them all to get one and they love them.

Where and which spot has the best burritos?
Um- well it would have to be Frisco. It is either that place you always take me to.

Yeah – or Gordo’s. Those are some good spots!

Damn! I bet that she is British too – look at those things!
Yep she’s British.

She’s cute – all I am saying is - I can tell. So you mentioned doing some other projects in the near future in other realms of subject matter – care to elaborate?
I want to do something with Chris Ariaga, Ian Munro and they know Brian Terrada. Just a video with that whole crew and a bunch of BMX guys and shoot it super artsy.

What up with this female on the screen is she from here?
No – she is from England.

I have yet to see the teeth….oh yeah! Damn! Certified for sure. Those will leave more than a mark!
Damn man – I am getting hella hungry.

I am liking this bells sample…
Straight from Garage Band.

Oh this is the section I like the most – the lights in the woods! Oh wait- they are all related?
Dude you didn’t know that you fuckin’ dumbass?

Damn those two older brothers are going to mop me up for all that shit I said earlier…
You really didn’t know that they were all family?

I just thought that it was a crew name or something – “Atherton Family”…I swear -G-O-D!
Dude they are going to love that story. [Laughing at me on the floor] you thought the Atherton’s were a team! Cause you were so high in the movie theatre….

I didn’t even realize you were the narrator of the film until the last sections….
[Still Laughing] You didn’t know I was the narrator! I still can’t believe that you thought the Atherton’s were a team!

We need to get some food – any shoutouts?
All of the riders in the film and the people I have met over the years.